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USPS unwrapped: A look at average delivery times

USPS unwrapped: A look at average delivery times
USPS unwrapped: A look at average delivery times

The US Postal Service (USPS) released delivery performance metrics for the first quarter of the 2024 fiscal year. The report paints a picture of 98% of Americans receiving their parcels in under 3 days. 

The postal service defines service performance “as the time it takes to deliver a mailpiece or package from its acceptance into [the] system through its delivery; as measured against published service standards.” 

USPS average delivery time

At the heart of the USPS’s commitment is the average delivery span, clocking in at a brisk 2.6 days nationwide. Meanwhile, 88% of first-class mail items are delivered on time. This is a decrease of 2.9 percentage points from the previous quarter. 

Marketing mail, the lifeblood of commerce, holds steady at 94.5% on-time delivery. Magazines and periodicals maintain an 85.6% punctuality rate. The USPS commits to “continually make service delivery improvements,” in line with its 10-year performance plan. 

“Currently, 98% of the nation’s population receives their mail and packages in less than three days. This percentage recently improved, and USPS is working hard to correct service-related issues in the other limited areas.”

The USPS is also focusing on improving service for the remaining 2% with concerted efforts to streamline the final hurdles in service delivery. The postal service promises transformation with its ‘Delivering for America’ blueprint, which was introduced back in March 2021. 

‘Delivering For America’ blueprint

Nearly $7.6 billion of the plan’s $40 billion budget is committed to “creating a modernized postal network while maintaining high service standards and meeting [the] mandate to deliver six days a week to nearly 165 million addresses,” the USPS says.

The ‘Delivering For America’ initiative was implemented two years ago to “quickly achieve financial stability and service excellence.” The ten-year plan addresses some of the postal service’s current challenges, including: 

  • Underperforming air and surface transportation network, 
  • Unattainable first-class mail service standards, 
  • Misaligned and redundant organizational design, 
  • High turnover rate without non-career employee workforce, 
  • Long-overdue pricing regulation changes, to name a few. 

As part of its “balanced approach to revitalize the postal service,” the USPS earmarked $34 billion to improve mail processing, transportation, retail, delivery, and administrative efficiency. Another $24 billion was set aside for new competitive products and pricing changes. 

Some of the “transformational goals” outlined in the blueprint include fostering service excellence by being on time 95% of the time while modernizing the network of post offices, and optimizing its surface- and air transportation network. 

Additionally, the USPS hopes to operate with an electric delivery fleet by no later than 2035, with congressional support. 

USPS operations amid shutdown

Postal service operations will not be impacted by the US government shutdown and all offices will remain open for business as usual.

“Because we are an independent entity that is generally funded through the sale of our products and services, and not by tax dollars, our services will not be impacted by a government shutdown.” 

As of Wednesday, House Republicans have expressed opposition to another government shutdown. However, with only nine days remaining before the deadline, Congress has yet to devise a plan to prevent it.

About the author

Cheryl has contributed to various international publications, with a fervor for data and technology. She explores the intersection of emerging tech trends with logistics, focusing on how digital innovations are reshaping industries on a global scale. When she's not dissecting the latest developments in AI-driven innovation and digital solutions, Cheryl can be found gaming, kickboxing, or navigating the novel niches of consumer gadgetry.

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